THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
Called the “Sandwich Islands” during the nineteenth century, the Hawaiian Islands were a great, aquatic crossroads and “a destination for whaleships during nearly all their cruises in the Pacific Ocean, as well as other sailing vessels,” according to Oliver. “Between cruises on the various whaling grounds, a stop at Hawaii meant fresh provisions or a chance to transfer whale oil to a homeward-bound vessel.” The islands were so overrun withWesterners— frommissionaries, to merchants, to plantation owners— that many grocers and boarding houses catered to the tastes of Yankees, offering the sorts of roasts and pies and breads they enjoyed back home. Still, it was hard to avoid— or in many cases, resist— many of the islands’ local specialties, such as roast pork, fried goat, yams, poi (a porridge-like staple made from taro, a root vegetable similar to potatoes) and that exotic queen of island fruits, pineapple.
“We get pineapples so easily in the grocery store today, but it was such an extraordinary experience for people to have back then,” said Oliver.
Oliver adapted the following recipe for “Pine-apple Ambrosia” fromthe popular cookbook, “The Dinner Year Book” byMarion Harland, published in 1878.
Cover the bottom of a glass dish with a layer of pineapple. Add a layer of coconut, sprinkle with sugar, then sprinkle the layers with sherry. Repeat the layers, using up all the ingredients; finish with a layer of coconut. Serve immediately.
Nearly 100 years after its last whaling voyage, theMorgan will depart on June 14 to historic New England ports, including Newport, R.I.; Vineyard Haven, Mass; New Bedford, Mass.; Stellwagen Bank NationalMarine Sanctuary, Boston, Mass; and back to New London andMystic with a stop at the Cape Cod Canal to participate in its centennial celebration. The ship’s stop in each port will be accompanied by a dockside exhibit customized for each location. —